A renowned songwriter took time out from composing the 2014 Commonwealth Games anthem to lead a singing workshop in the upper valley.
Calder Valley Women Singers were delighted when Ali Burns, who is writing music for this summer’s Games in Glasgow, agreed to run the session at the Fielden Centre, Todmorden, on Saturday.
The workshop was sold out as people attended from local choirs and others across the region.
Ali shared some of her own compositions with the group, including one based on a poem from local poet Clare Shaw.
The group was also treated to a new song that Ali had written while working on the Games anthem: a four-part harmony piece with an inspiring message of love and hope.
Jan Melloy, from Blackshaw Head, who is one of the stalwarts of Calder Valley Women Singers, said: “It was such a memorable day, full of joyous singing and a great sense of community.
“There is something very special about people coming together to sing. To be led by someone as loving and talented as Ali was a real privilege.”
Members of Calder Valley Women Singers helped to publicise the event, sell tickets, welcome everyone on arrival, make soup for lunch and bake cakes for afternoon tea.
Many people who attended said they had a fantastic day.
Angie Mossman, who joined Calder Valley Women Singers eight years ago, said: “I joined when I was new to the area.
“I hadn’t sung for years and I’d lost my confidence, but I was made very welcome and it was such a lovely way to get to know people.
“Being led by someone of the calibre of Ali Burns is amazing.
“There are lots of choirs in the Calder Valley, and this summer the Streetchoirs Festival is coming to Hebden Bridge from July 11-13, with hundreds of people from all over the country coming together to sing in the streets all weekend.
“It will be incredible.”
Calder Valley Women Singers meet in Hebden Bridge Town Hall on Wednesday evenings. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.